Visit to a Small Planet Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why has Reba had a bad morning?

2. What does Powers tell Kreton to do about taking over the world?

3. What topic do Kreton and the cat discuss at the beginning of Act II?

4. What will the military not do in response to information that Kreton is a mammal?

5. What does Ellen do with the book in Act II?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What do you think Vidal was trying to say about the political situation of the world in the 1950s? Why? What are possible reasons for this? What was he trying to say about the U.S. government? About the Russian government? Be sure to be very specific in your answer, and include information from the book to back your argument.

Essay Topic 2

Nationalism is another theme that is present throughout the play. How is nationalism represented in the play? What is the result of this nationalism? How does this affect the storyline? What does this mean for the characters? Discuss nationalism not only from the aspect of the characters, but of Kreton too. He relies on nationalism to help him achieve his plan. What is in his way? Why?

Essay Topic 3

In the play, Vidal references the standing political condition between Russia and the United States, often referred to as the Cold War. Choose one of the following to discuss.

1. Why do you think Vidal bases the novel on the Cold War fears of the United States military? What is he trying to say about the suspicious nature of both sides? What threats exist in such a suspicious environment, as is shown by the creation of hostilities by Kreton? What could such conditions result in?

2. Examine one specific comment in the play that refers to the feelings against Russians by the United States. Discuss the comment in terms of historical significance. What does such a comment tell you about the political situation in the time this play was written? What does the inclusion of such comments indicate in terms of Vidal's position on the Cold War? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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